Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said it was time for Pakistan to get a stronghold of national security by expanding its domain inclusive of climate change, economic stability and food security, besides focusing on military strength.
Addressing at the launch of the first annual Islamabad Security Dialogue themed ‘Together for Ideas’, the Prime Minister stressed the need for addressing the challenges of several non-traditional security threats confronting the general population.
“A secure State is where common people own it and believe that they have stakes in it,” he said, pointing that the “goals of national security could not be achieved in an environment with a handful of affluent and a sea of the poor populace”.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to the country’s armed forces and law enforcement agencies for their “remarkable role in making the nation feel secure” during tough situations, particularly in the wake of 9/11.
FOOD SECURITY, CLIMATE CHANGE BIG CHALLENGES OF NATIONAL SECURITY: PM
He termed food security a big challenge for Pakistan in the coming decades and expressed concern over the situation of importing 4 million tons of wheat in a year.
In April, he said, the government would launch a comprehensive strategy to address the availability of food through accurate mapping of the exact demand of the commodities.
On economic prosperity, he said the dollar inflow must be consistently greater than dollar outflow in order to expand the national resource pie for its use for human welfare and robust defence.
He added that deficit leads to a weakening of the rupee, thus leading to inflation and poverty.
Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI inaugurated Olive Plantation drive, which is part of flagship Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project. #OliveTreeTsunami will bear enormous environmental and socio-economic benefits.
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) March 15, 2021
The Prime Minister said under his government, the country was able to fight a debilitating current account deficit, increase exports and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
On climate change, he warned that Pakistan was among the most vulnerable countries and said his government was making strenuous efforts in protecting the country.
He mentioned the dedicated climate security programmes including the internationally acknowledged Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project and expressed satisfaction for its inclusion in the Comprehensive Security Framework.
Imran Khan said his government had prioritized human welfare through the Ehsaas programme where the largest cash transfers were made in the country’s history to the poor during a pandemic.
ECONOMIC PROSPERITY LINKED WITH REGIONAL PEACE: PM
On regional peace, he said economic prosperity could not be sustained without peace in the neighbourhood, adding that Pakistan was poised to become a trade and transit hub for the extended region.
He mentioned that Pakistan was situated at the confluence of two big markets, namely Iran for petroleum and also Central Asia besides an economically strong China.
The Prime Minister called upon India to give Kashmiris their right to self-determination as per the United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
He said India’s unilateral and illegal action of August 5 had strained the environment for bilateral negotiations with Pakistan, adding that for an enabling environment, “India must take the first step forward”.
Resolution of Kashmir through negotiation would be beneficial for both India and Pakistan, he said. On Afghanistan, he said Pakistan had the highest stakes in the Afghan peace and vowed to continue extending assistance for the political settlement.
“Peace in Afghanistan is the key to unlocking the connectivity potential of the region,” he added.
First-ever Policy Advisory Portal launched
Earlier, the Prime Minister on the occasion launched the first of its kind Policy Advisory Portal developed by the National Security Division to engage over 100 think-tanks and academia in policy-making.
The Prime Minister congratulated the National Security Division for the initiative and termed it an example of the government’s commitment to inclusive decision-making.
PM @ImranKhanPTI launched the first of its kind Policy Advisory Portal on the inaugural session of the Islamabad Security Dialogue (@IsbDialogue).The portal has been developed by the National Security Division to engage over 100 think tanks and academia in policy making. pic.twitter.com/zdbitfoPBD
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) March 17, 2021
PM’s Special Assistant on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning Dr Moeed Yusuf said the first-ever Islamabad Security Dialogue was in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision who had pointed out the gap between strategic thinkers and the government’s policy-makers.
Dr Yusuf said National Security Division had developed strategies focusing on leveraging Pakistan’s economic footprint and also stressing upon a cultural shift to promote the country’s soft image abroad.
He said the Advisory Portal would be an integrated platform through which major think-tanks and universities working on the subject of comprehensive national security would to share recommendations directly to the national leadership.
Read more: Ensuring Food Security in Pakistan
The two-day Islamabad Security Dialogue is being attended by global and regional foreign policy experts and members of the diplomatic corps with the main theme of Comprehensive Security Framework.
Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa will inaugurate the second day of the Dialogue.